This was absolutely the best half marathon I have run so far!
Lots of reasons
- Won a free entry into this race
- Bought a new sports bra to help with chaffing issues I have had on every single half marathon
- Bought some body glide and it worked like a charm, absolutely no chaffing anywhere, SWEET! Why didn't I do this sooner? I have seriously tried all kinds of options from bandaids to sports tape, to wearing different fabrics, with no success. A little tube of body glide and voila'!! You can bet I'll be using this stuff like crazy. No more painful shocks in the shower.
- The bus pick-up was perfect and as I rode up the canyon I felt pretty calm and ready for attempting a PR, plus it was fun watching the bus driver eat his sunflower seeds at 5:00 am
- I got to see my friend Julia who was to be the 2:30 pacer. Too bad I wasn't wanting to run that slow today or it would have been fun to be in her group.
- The weather in the canyon was so beautiful. No jackets needed. I would have liked it to be just a touch more cooler even.
- Only one frustration of the whole race and that was port-o-potty lines were too long. The gun went off and the race begun just as I got in one. No biggie though since it's chip timed but I hated starting at the very back of the pack. It probably made me a little more determined to go faster though.
- I ran, ran, ran my little heart out and caught up to Julia holding the 2:30 sign about mile 1 and then way further down the road, I don't remember what mile, I passed the 2:20 pacer and felt happy about that. I saw the 2:10 pacer even later in the race but just didn't have the energy to catch her. My biggest goal for this race was to PR. I just wanted to come in under 2:16 and so if I could keep my eye on the 2:10 pacer ahead of me I knew I could do it. A huge advantage I had going for me were the 7 miles of downhill canyon running. I LOVE running downhill.
- Running in American Fork Canyon is absolutely stunning! Greenery everywhere!
- Since this was a cancer benefit race there were posters/signs all along the route about people who fought cancer and lived, and sadly some who didn't. It was a nice distraction from the running to read those and contemplate some of those people's situations.
- About mile 5 a song came on my ipod that was sung at Porter's funeral called "Homeward Bound". Such a beautiful song and of course I broke out in tears. I had to hit repeat on that a couple times to enjoy a couple miles just thinking about my son. Then I had to get my breathing under control and changed songs.
- The aid station around mile 6 had shot bloks they were handing out. That was pretty fun! Then I found a couple more unopened ones people threw on the ground so I picked them up and put them in my pocket for future use. (My friend Annaleesa will probably disown me as her friend now after reading that part.) Another aid station a few miles later was handing them out again. Score more shot bloks!!
- Once we got out of the canyon it was beautiful running through a golf course area and along some pretty homes with beautiful back yards. A certain song came on my ipod with such a great beat to run to that I just kept hitting repeat over and over. Probably listened to that particular song 20 times! Never underestimate the power of a song with a great beat!
- From this point on the rest of this race was just a mental game to keep my legs moving and keep thinking happy thoughts. The temps were rising and I was getting anxious to get to the finish line. I knew my hubby and son were going to be there to cheer for me and I was looking forward to seeing their faces. Here I am coming into the finish line with a final time of 2:15:42. A new PR by a mere 20 seconds! Wow, that was cutting it a bit too close!
- The after race food was hosted by Kneaders. They served big, fat french toast with a side of the most delicious syrup, oranges, bananas, milk, and italian ice gelatos. It all hit the spot very nicely.
I like to keep my bibs and write the date, distance and time on them.
One thing I wish I would have done is wear my water belt and bring my camera with me because there is a pretty nifty tight pocket that would have held it nicely. This canyon was just so pretty and there was so much to see and enjoy along the way and having photos of it all would have been awesome. Oh wait......then I might not have gotten my PR. Sacrifices.
As long as I keep running I will continue to sign up for this race. It was an absolutely incredible experience! Thank you so much American Fork Canyon Half Marathon!!